10 The other queue is always quicker
As sure as night follows day, you will always choose the wrong line to stand in. At the supermarket, passport control or any other places where queues form, the one you choose to join will crawl along while the others clear of people faster than you can say, “The person in front of me is paying for groceries with one riyal notes and I could be here forever…”
9 You will be seen
The one time you don’t spend 45 minutes getting ready to go to the shop next door to pick up a loaf of bread is the one time you will be seen by everybody you know. On the downside, it’s the first time you’ve left the house without washing, combing and styling hair, or carefully assembling an outfit, since you moved to Doha. On the upside, you look so different with your natural-look hair, slippers, comfortable sofa trousers and oversized baggy jumper that you might not be recognised.
8 White shirt stains
Science has so far failed to prove a link between the number of times you decide to wear a dazzling white shirt or blouse and the increased likelihood that you’re going to drop ketchup on it. But we know that link exists. And obviously, the probability is exponentially increased if you have an important meeting later.
7 You will never be upgraded
A free flight upgrade on a long-haul journey is one of the greatest elations of life. It’s also something that will never happen to you. Allow a passenger struggling with heavy luggage to move in front of you at the check-in desk and they will be the one treated by airport staff. Conversely, push in front of somebody, and the person behind you will be the one randomly selected. Accept it. You are never getting that upgrade.
6 It’s not good to talk
The one person in the crowded cinema who decides it’s more important to talk on their phone than stay quiet and watch the film will sit directly next to you. It’s your responsibility, therefore, to confront them and tell them to be quiet rather than tut or shush as the rest of the room is happy to do. Not the greatest of hardships, but not one you will ever be thanked for.
5 Washing your car is futile
Clean your car and you can more or less guarantee that the very next day a sandstorm, or worse, a poorly toilet-trained bird, will pass over it and leave your motor mucky again.
4 Seating arrangements do not work
No matter how much you engineer seating arrangements at a dinner party (home or restaurant) the other end of the table will always end up having more fun than you. Plonk yourself next to the birthday boy or girl, surround yourself with the chattiest of friends and be sure to store up your best anecdotes. But it won’t make any difference. Absolute strangers, loners and the weird guy from work you invited by accident will find a perfect chemistry, and you’ll sit in silence trying to catch their attention.
3 People only call when you forget your phone
Your phone is an extension of who you are and it’s noted among your friends and colleagues that it’s never out of your hand. You always have email, WhatsApp and other messenger services at the ready to do serious business. Except nobody ever calls. Or messages. You can be sure, however, that the one time you leave your phone at home, you’ll return to find messages from every client and family member, and an increasingly irate string of communications from your boss.
2 Taxis only come when you don’t need one
If you’re late, there will be no taxis on the street. No chance. Never. Start off your day slowly and the universe will conspire against you to make sure that even getting to work will be a painful process.
1 Selfish people have bad taste
The only person with the right blend of confidence and lack of self-awareness to take a radio to the beach or pool will almost certainly have the worst taste in music. It might not be turned up loud, but you’ll hear just enough Europop to wonder if you could get away with kicking their portable speakers into the sea.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He does not believe in karma.